Ignorance

Ive had the betes for around 13 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people are, whether they know me or not. Today, being 4th of july, I went to a party (the same one me and the other girl go to every year). When it came time for dessert, my neighbor had brought one of those giant cookie-cakes. When they were cutting it up, I asked for a smaller piece because those always make my BG like 400. While they were cutting a pretty decent sized piece in half, the girl (who knows I have the betes and is actively involved in my life) looked me straight in the eyes and said “are you kidding me? that piece is NOT big. That does NOT have any carbs in it. Stop worrying about carbs. you’re not fat and you don’t need to care about stuff like that. Just eat the whole piece and stop whining.” Maybe its just me, but stuff like that ticks me off to no end. Anyone else have people that don’t understand the betes in their lives?

This will happen in all areas of life as the world is pretty much ignorant to things they don’t understand, not just diabetes. The only thing you can control is your reaction to it. Sucks but the sooner you realize that you just simply can’t make people understand what they are simply not able to, then the less stress you will be. You have more knowledge than them and it will be your responsibility to just be the bigger person and brush off their ignorance. Like the spiderman quote “With great power comes great responsibility” and in your case, knowledge is power. My daughter will have to go through this as well and I hope she won’t take it personally! Stay good and don’t let words get to you if you can!

I’m coming up on 37 years with diabetes and wish I could say that in my life the general public has become more knowledgeable about diabetes, but they haven’t. Most doctors and nurses are completely clueless about basic diabetes information. Some people will care enough to listen to you share about carbs but most won’t. Friends and family members, the people who love you most, will sometimes stubbornly cling to info they read in a magazine 20 years ago about diabetes rather than what you say.

Be the better person. Share diabetes information with anyone who wants to learn, but don’t waste your time on those who don’t. Forgive people who insist that you’ll be a blind amputee and die young. That’s not your reality. Just go on an live a good life.

One of the coolest things about diabetes is it teaches you to speak up for yourself and to educate others. That’s a great skill. It also teaches you to develop great patience, which is another skill that will help you in life. It will help you have a great sense of humor because people will say the most ignorant and downright offensive things to you. The other great thing about diabetes is that while it’s a disability as serious as any other, it isn’t obvious. We get a taste of what someone who uses a wheelchair or has a cerebral palsy or Downs Syndrome another physical disability has to deal with (and the ignorant, demeaning comments they live with) but don’t have to deal with it all the time. Hopefully this will make you a more compassionate person and able to deal with someone with a disability as a person and not ignore the limitation they live with, but also not treat them like less of a person either.

@Kel15

It’s almost the same thing as someone saying “You can’t have that, there is too much sugar in it!” It’s one of the most frustrating things when people attempt to tell you what you can and can’t eat. This happens often, you just gotta let them know, straight up, that you know your body better than anyone and can decide for yourself what you can and cannot eat.

It might be a great opportunity to educate them as well. That’s usually what I do in those instances. Explain to them why that’s entirely wrong. Briefly, talk about some of the ingredients that count towards the carb intake which you need insulin to break down.

There are a lot of uneducated people in the world about Diabetes and it’s best to educate them rather than snap (I know you didn’t, just is very tempting - I’ve come close - I mean, come on, are you the diabetic/where’s your certified diabetes educator/nutritionist ID?!?!?!?!). It can seem very intrusive but they just don’t understand how much work has to go into every encounter with sugary foods.

@astrogurl

I like how you put that with the Spider-Man quote! Well done.

Your daughter will have to go through this one day-that’s certain. It’s great that your on this site reading about issues like this. You’ll be able to prepare her at a young age for these often encounters. She’s very fortunate to have you!

You can also think of it this way. If diabetes is your disability, then those ignorant to diabetes is a mental disability and therefore we need to also be compassion to them of their short-comings :slight_smile:

@caddy Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I plan to learn everything I can possibly learn so that my daughter is never alone in this. As I told her the other day “This is not your disease, it’s our family’s and we will do this together”. With this mentality, I found that she actually is showing “pride” in being diabetic because I have helped her realize these benefits/lessons that other kids might not have: 1) forced to learn healthy eating habits early 2) get more mommy time / extra attention from loved ones 3) insight to be understanding of others differences and struggles 4) be a part of an exclusive community that she wouldn’t have been exposed to & make new friends 5) learn that with pain comes with benefits 6) Get more rewards for achievements of new milestones (eg. 1 month of insulin, 1 year) etc.

I should make this into a blog post :P.

@jennagrant Great attitude & good points on skills developed being diabetic. There is a silver lining to every situation…sometimes harder to see than others!